Susan Sarandon & Diane Keaton Are Laugh Out Loud Funny

Jan 26, 2023

Maybe I Do, a romantic comedy from the mind of Boy Meets World creator Michael Jacobs, centers around a young couple, Michelle (Emma Roberts) and Allen (Luke Bracey), as an awkward incident at her best friend’s wedding leads Michelle to give Allen an ultimatum—24 hours to decide if their relationship is heading down the aisle or not. Thanks to a suggestion from her father, Michelle decides that in that one-day window, they should have dinner with both sets of their parents to really see if their families should be bound together forever in holy matrimony. The hitch comes from a Crazy, Stupid, Love-style twist: their parents are already having affairs with each other.

In addition to Roberts and Bracey as the film’s young lovers, Maybe I Do features an all-star ensemble cast of rom-com greats including Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, William H. Macy, and Diane Keaton. The film starts off strong, introducing us to these characters first in their extramarital affairs which have all begun for different reasons. As seasoned vets in the rom-com genre, Gere, Sarandon, Macy, and Keaton take to Maybe I Do like ducks to water, and it’s their chemistry as a quartet that truly makes the film worth watching.

Maybe I Do examines the concept of marriage, albeit from an exclusively heterosexual point of view, asking why we get married and whether it’s worth it, in the long run, to stay with one person for the rest of your life. Allen doesn’t want to get married because he’s watched his parents’ marriage dissolve, and he doesn’t want to ruin what he has with Michelle and end up in a loveless commitment. Meanwhile, Michelle is oblivious to her own parent’s marital problems, holding marriage as the ultimate goal for any relationship.

Image via Vertical Entertainment

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The biggest highlight of the film lies in the comedic work of the parents, particularly that of Sarandon and Keaton. Keaton is well known for her physical comedy—any true rom-com fan certainly remembers her flailing down the scaffolding in The First Wives Club or the absolutely insane emotional rollercoaster montage from Something’s Gotta Give—and she brings it once again in Maybe I Do. Keaton’s intrinsically funny nature will bring a smile to your face no matter where she is in any given scene. Meanwhile, Sarandon also gets to flex her underrated comedy skills as she absolutely chews up the scenery and every bit of dialogue she has in Maybe I Do. Her comedic timing really shines in several stand-out moments, including her gleeful, “I’m the company!” line from the trailer.

Maybe I Do also reunites Sarandon and Gere who’ve shared the screen twice before now, most notably in 2004’s Shall We Dance? The chemistry between these two has not waned one bit in the 19 years since they first played a couple. Gere’s Howard is married to Keaton’s Grace, though he’s having an affair with Sarandon’s Monica. Meanwhile, Macy’s Sam strikes up an emotional connection with Grace, despite his long-suffering marriage to Monica. Though both couples are compelling in each of their mismatched duos, the chemistry between the unmarried pairs excels far beyond that of their wedded counterparts. This could’ve worked in the movie’s favor with a slightly different ending, though given where everyone ends up it ends up sticking out like a sore thumb. Keaton and Macy have an innocence about them when combined that genuinely reflects the feeling of new love, while Sarandon and Gere’s electric back and forth makes them both endlessly watchable.

Image via Vertical

While filled with several laugh-out-loud moments of comedy, Maybe I Do does suffer from a tight 94-minute runtime that, with this many pairings, doesn’t give the audience a lot of time to get invested in any of their love stories. The main romance between Michelle and Allen particularly falls to the wayside as we aren’t really given any reasons as to why we should be rooting for them to either get married or break up. Much of the film is dedicated to the awkwardness of both sets of parents having to confront their extramarital affairs and the fact that none of them are currently getting what they want out of their marriages. The film’s big climax circles back to Michelle and Allen, though its ultimate conclusion feels rushed and somewhat unearned after spending relatively little time with their relationship throughout the movie. Maybe I Do could certainly have benefited from a slightly longer runtime to enrich the relationships of its characters.

Maybe I Do attempts to take an honest look at marriage, assessing the pros and cons of a lifelong commitment. It shows that in some cases, a relationship can be saved by simply communicating your needs to your partner, while others meet natural conclusions when two people no longer have anything in common. Though the film’s message gets muddied by its brief runtime and somewhat rushed ending, ultimately, Maybe I Do is a decent romantic romp that is worth watching at least once—particularly if you’re a fan of the film’s star-studded cast. Sarandon, Keaton, Gere, Macy, Roberts, and Bracey, elevate the script with a charm that feels entirely natural, and they make these characters shine.

Rating: B

Maybe I Do comes to theaters on January 27.

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